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POINT PLEASANT, N.J. — It’s no secret that the Jersey shore took a major hit last summer.

The area generated just a fraction of the 20 billion dollars it usually pulls in annually. With restrictions no longer in play, many of those businesses that thrive during the summer months are eyeing a comeback.

At Point Pleasant Friday, there was no shortage of sun, energy and most importantly, foot traffic. It’s all fueling what’s expected to be a banner summer for the shore as COVID-19 restrictions are no longer a factor on how businesses operate.

Jake’s Crab House is among those that not only saw the light at the end of the tunnel, but chased it.

“It was definitely a tough year, we did make it through,” said manager Jonathan Agudo. “But we are definitely super excited for this year.”

The sight of a line spilling out of Joey’s Tomato was one that it’s owner Joey Karcich hadn’t seen in well over a year.

His pizza shop took a 60% hit in 2020 but he too is now gunning for a comeback 

“Now, it’s starting to pick up as the weather gets warmer people are starting to come,” Karcich said. “Nice clientele is coming, so it’s really good for business.”

Gift shops and arcades along the boardwalk were packed by midday Friday and unlike last summer, masks are no longer the must have accessory.

But if you’re stopping for some frozen custard at the famed Kohr’s, the staff there still playing it safe.

“Our kids are still wearing their masks for protection for food, you know we want customers feeling safe,” said Dawn Maniscalco. “But we like that the customers are out and we are amped.”

While the forecast is sunny, the universal concern is keeping up with demand, as staffing issues are plaguing most businesses. These days, many shops along the boardwalk relying heavily on family and friends.